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Outside Hull with mystry sealer

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by Ossineke, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Ossineke

    Ossineke Curious about Wooden Canoes

    We have a circa 1905 BN Morris (16') in reasonable shape. After removing the canvas we found the planking in nice shape with some signs of earlier replacement all intact. However the outside of the planks have a sticky dark surface that perhaps was used to have the canvas "stick" to the hull. It smells like pine, could this be Pine Tar? Has anyone every seen pint tar used as a glue? So far the best remover product appears to be turpentine. Is turpentine an OK product to use on this age old beauty?

    Is there anything else I could use the leftover turpentine for?

    Your thoughts appreciated. Bill
  2. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Pine tar mixtures (sometimes diluted with turpentine) have been used for centuries as a wood sealer/preservative on boats. Many of the traditional Norse boats had (or still have) it, so maybe that's what their intention was. In your case I suppose it may have even helped to keep the wood from drying out over the years. Smell-wise though, pine tar itself usually smells more like a burned down house than a pine tree (it's an acquired taste for aging cross country skiers). Though it may have stuck the canvas in place to some extent, I doubt that was its real purpose.

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